Nr 1.

/ April 2009

The Sextant is a twice-yearly publication produced by the International Office of the School of Business of the FHNW (University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland). People, projects and programmes with an international aspect related to the School of Business are the focus. It does not reflect the opinions of the School of Business, the FHNW or any other organisation.
Page 1 International University Rankings: Vietnam Visit Page 2 Soapbox News Page 3 Focus Interview Page 4 Univerity Partner Profiles Page 5 Agony Aunt Spotted on the Radar Page 6 Who’s Where Page 7 Continuation Who’s Where Page 8 A Day in the Life of

International University Rankings: An Unequal Tool
In June 2009 the fourth conference on the International Rankings Expert Group will take place in Kazakhstan. Its aim is to provide the largest updated ranking list of universities around the world and to include institutions below the top 200 which will favour many universities not currently ranked. Rankings can serve a myriad of purposes. High rankings attract students, professors and money. They can also give prospective employers an indication of the quality of the degree a student presents in a dossier. However, widely diverging measurement tools and the non-inclusion of thousands of “lower”universities mean this tool is hardly fulfilling the needs of potential students or employers. Accreditation Another measurement tool is accreditation. Increasing numbers of independent accreditation agencies are emerging which, depending on standards, evaluate universities (and their programmes, processes, faculty and activities). In the field of Business and Management, the two most renowned agencies are EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AACSB (American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business). EQUIS is a European-centred agency with currently about 114 accredited schools from 33 countries. AACSB, the American-based international agency, has accredited 555 schools1. Both agencies set extremely high standards which applicants must fulfil. Accreditation processes stretch over several years and are subject to periodic reviews. (The FHNW School of Business is currently in the process of applying for AACSB accreditation. Some individual programmes already have been FIBAA – Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation - approved). Ranking University rankings, originally known as league tables, were set up early in the twentieth century, mostly by newspapers and magazines. The leading names are the QS and The Times Higher Education Supplement World University Ranking. Other leading magazine rankings include those from Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, Financial Times, Guardian and Le Nouvel Observateur. The QS/THES rankings are determined by 6 indicators: Academic Peer Review (40% weighting), Employer Review (10%), Faculty/Student Ratio (20%), Faculty Score (20%), International Faculty Score (5%) and International Student Score (5%)2. Measurement of these criteria is achieved by different methodologies. The academic peer and employer reviews are based on global on-line surveys, the faculty score is extracted from an international research papers database which tracks numbers of citations to published research done by faculty. Since 2003 the Shanghai ranking has also achieved significant recognition. This ranking is more research-focused, allocating a majority of points for
Continued on Page 2

Vietnam seeks to learn from FHNW university system

Nguyen Xuan Vang (Photo: Michele Canonico)

In its major reform and upgrade of the tertiary education system, Vietnam is seeking to increase the qualifications of lecturers, increase number of students and decrease lecturer/student ratios by 2010. A high-ranking government delegation, led by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Education Nguyen Thien Nhan, visited the FHNW School ofBusiness earlier this year with several proposals for cooperation aimed at achieving these goals. Nguyen Xuan Vang, the Director General of the ministerial International Education Development, stated that aims within the Training of Trainers programme include having 20’000 students annually gain a PhD, half of these to be trained overseas in teaching and educational management. As well, internationalisation of the universities and colleges is aimed for. This includes using English as the language of instruction and adopting international curricula. Nhan stated that it was also a target to “develop closer cooperation with industries” and that universities in the past had neglected to ask what industries needed from graduates. “You should not teach what you know,” Vang added. “You should teach what reality requires. We want to learn from you how you combine meeting industry needs with education.” Concrete cooperation between the School of Business and Vietnam includes the already running EMBA in Banking and Finance and two new projects: a Master of Advanced Studies in Business Information Systems and a joint BSc in Business Administration. Discussions are under way to investigate how the FHNW could deliver support in the training of trainers. Vang voiced the hope that more joint activities with Swiss higher education in Vietnam would eventuate and also believed Switzerland needed to publicise its education institutions more in Vietnam. !


Nobel and research prizes, and other research criteria. This is a more academic, quantative review and several countries, particularly the educational authorities in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands, have set up their own comparable independent systems. Criticism Inevitably, rankings are the target of constant criticism, especially those like the THES ranking where great emphasis is placed on subjective data. In 2007 a major controversy broke out in the USA when university colleges questioned the impact of rankings on college admissions and eventually 80 colleges opted to no longer participate3. Swiss Rankings On an internet site dedicated to the topic of university rankings4 the Swiss University Rector’s Conference (CRUS), also questions the worth of rankings: “Beyond differences that lie in the structures and strategies of the universities themselves, there is a serious problem of available statistical information at an international level. This relates to student and faculty data, to data concerning the teaching and learning processes as well as the learning outcomes”. Swiss academic universities appear on some of the international rankings and in widely varying positions. Seven of the twelve appear in the THES ranking with two of them (the ETH and the EPFL) making it into the international top 100. However, in the more research-based empirical Shanghai ranking, only the ETH appears in the top 100 (in 2008 at position 24). Interestingly, St Gallen University, highly reputable in this country especially for Management education, does not appear at all in either of these lists.

Universities of Applied Sciences Universities of Applied Sciences do not appear on any of these ranking lists. There are a number of reasons for this. These universities are new on the international tertiary education market and are based on a national system which is not known in those countries conducting rankings5. As well, UAS’s are profession oriented rather than research focused thus precluding them from such rankings which evaluate purely on research criteria. An attempt to rank UASs was launched by SwissupRanking. This listing, a joint CRUS and KFH effort together with German and Austrian counterparts (Centrum für Hochschulentwickling and Österreichische Qualitätssicherungsagentur and coordinated by a Swiss foundation (Stiftung zur Förderung der Ausbildungsqualität in der Schweiz) aims to establish a European ranking. The most recent ranking covers the year 2006 and is based on federal statistics (Bundesamt für Statistik) and a survey among nearly 3000 students and 1000 academics. However, this evaluation could only deliver verdicts on Information Technology courses as critical sample numbers were not achieved in other fields6. Until national rankings are established which cover all universities and all disciplines it remains difficult for students and employers to gain reliable quality estimates of the various schools. The forthcoming conference in Kazakhstan aims also to further reduce the USA-European divide in ranking. However, European UAS’s are not yet on that radar. ! Brigitte Sprenger

Olten-a truly global village Sisième By Alex Capus, Olten author and columnist There are days when you wonder as small towner why you spend your life exactly here and not somewhere else. I live in Olten and I have grown up here, and about three hundred days a year I think it is ok that my children also grow up here. There are the woods, the river, good schools and peace ruling the streets, on top of that we have low real estate prices as well as seven movie theatres and 72 pubs spread all over our little town. Everything very comfortable. But sometimes….. It is not true that everything remains forever the same in a small town, sometimes things change even for the better. The hotel Astoria, right behind our city hall, for example, a nice small building from the thirties with a touch of Bauhaus, has recently been tastefully renovated and two floors have been added. Right on top on the sixth floor there is now a trendy bar, with a nice view over the roofs of the town where you can get a whiskey sour for 18 Swiss francs. And because the bar is on the sixth floor, the innkeeper baptized it in a cosmopolitan manner „Sisième“. Sisième? It says so on the door. On one of those days when you ask yourself as a small towner why the heck you still live here, I passed the hotel Astoria on my way to the post office. The owner, whom I know from my early days at grammar school, stood right in front of the elevator door leading to „Sisième“. „Hi Marius! No offence but,“ I said and pointed to the signboard,“ there is something wrong, I think.“ „Why?“ „Well, if this is supposed to be French and not another IndoEuropean language I do not know…..“ „ We write „Sixième“ with an X, I know this myself.“ „Of course I know that you know this“, I quickly replied. “But why….“ „Look, we are here in Olten,“ the innkeeper patiently explained. „What will happen if I write „Sixième“ with an X?“ „What?“ „People will pronounce Sixième with an X!“ It took a few moments until I was able to grasp his thoughts to their full altruistic extent. In order to protect his fellow citizens from pronouncing „Sixième“ wrongly and exposing themselves as ignoramuses, the innkeeper preferred to spell the word incorrectly and look like a fool himself. A truly Christian deed I thought and continued on my way. But it looks awful anyway. An X would look much more beautiful. But what can I do. On one of these days as small towner one is truly pleased about the fact that from Olten main railway station there are direct trains to Paris, Rome, Hamburg, Zürich, and Berlin. If I wanted to I could just get on the train. But then you remember that big cities like Zürich or Berlin are nothing other than Olten ten times or even a hundred times over. I am sure there are also people who pronounce Sixième incorrectly. And people who spell it the wrong way. People who have to spell it wrongly. Or people who think they have to spell it wrongly.

From the website (December 2008) From the QS Website 3 “Some Colleges Drop out of US News Rankings”, New York Times, 20 June 2007 4 (December 2008) 5 The UK of course, has an approximate equivalent in the ex-Polytechnics which were converted into universities over a decade ago. However, polytechnics never required vocational baccalaureates nor was the English apprenticeship system comparable. 6, Pressemtteilung 3.04.06
1 2

First Cohort from Qingdao to Olten
The first cohort of Chinese students from the joint BSc Business Administration (International Management) degree between the FHNW School of Business and the Qingdao Technological University School of Business are due to arrive in Olten this September. Out of an original class of about 40 students which started out at Q-Tech nearly three years ago, eight students were accepted during personal interviews with Prof Dr Markus Freiburghaus in HuangDao earlier this year to complete the final graduation year in Switzerland. The joint programme enables Chinese students to follow the Swiss curriculum for three years and to gather the required work experience during placements before applying to complete their degree here. Subject to meeting some further requirements and being awarded a visa, the eight students, all female, join the normal programme in Olten this September.

The Sextant _ Nr 1. / April 2009

Nr 1. / April 2009

Focus Interview: Dr Katharina Amacker, Head Diversity Switzerland, Novartis
Why practise Diversity Management?. Actively implementing D&I practices is a solid business choice. Implementation falls into three pillars: attractiveness as an employer, innovation as business driver and closeness to the market. New talent is easily attracted if our employees feel comfortable and respected. A diverse workforce will also reflect and understand the needs of our wide patient base, which helps us make smarter business decisions. By introducing diversity management, we provide a framework to enable people to work creatively in a positive environment. That isn’t to say that this is easy to implement. Most of the time we profit considerably from our diversity. In some instances, problems arise in the management of multicultuHow are new policies implemented? We very much focus on training and education. When we have a new idea for how to promote D&I, we create pilot programmes within a small group and part of the com-pany, which may then result in a policy. There is a lot of flexibility for each division to promote D&I according to their needs. However, our efforts are structured: each division has a D&I head, each of whom are advised by a D&I council of business leaders and are in charge of their own diversity network and resources. Because of this flexibility, we focus more on universal leadership principals than on tight policies for the whole company. Novartis also implemented an advisory board of external D&I experts.

Dr Katharina Amacker, Head Diversity Switzerland, Novartis (Photo Novartis)

At the Novartis headquarters in Basel, more than 90 nationalities work together on a daily basis and several hundred new employees come to Basel from other countries every year. In 2004, Novartis launched a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to address the demographics of its increasingly international workforce. We asked Dr Katharina Amacker, who is Head Diversity Switzerland for Novartis and a national councillor, about how Novartis promotes Diversity & Inclusion in a highly multicultural atmosphere.

Novartis has put quite an effort into its D&I strategy in recent years. What does the new strategy concentrate on? Our strategy is based on five dimensions of diversity and inclusion: gender, age, culture, lifestyle and abilities. The gender divide has been a great focus of ours, because in ral teams and you have to address these. Switzerland, 40% of our associates are female. However, in Switzerland, there seems to be a One of our goals has been to promote women negative perception of how well multiculturto leadership roles. I can proudly say that staalism functions in business. When you actualtistically, Novartis has become one of the best ly work in a multicultural environment you employers in Switzerland for women during experience the positive impact, how much peothe last eight years; women in management ple from abroad bring to a company. We work positions has increased from 14% in 2000 to hard to make people realize this. 28% today, and four out of eight locations in Switzerland are now being headed by women. To what extent is it helpful to impose legal Our company in Switzerland also has a high frameworks to implement diversity? number of employees older It is risky to impose regulati„When you actually than 50, so we make strong ons. To make something manefforts to use the potential of work in a multicultural datory downplays the intrinour associates in all phases sic motivations behind it, and environment you of their career. Our Basel that’s what we want to proexperience the posiCampus provides a lot of mote. We practice diversity tive impact…“ opportunities to learn more because we think it’s the about these parts of D&I and right thing to do. But we also about our multiculturalism. In addition to do it because we have made a risk analysis organized events, there are a lot of social and have researched what damage can be spaces on Campus that everyone shares, such inflicted on the company if we don’t practice as our restaurants and coffee shops. We diversity. We strive for the business motivatiencourage those places to embrace our interon to practice Diversity & Inclusion. nationalism in a more informal way, for example through the meals they offer.

What are some of the challenges within multicultural teams? We must always be careful that one culture does not overly dominate another. If you have more Swiss than French in a team, the Swiss way of doing things can take over and make it more difficult for the French, who may do things differently. A team’s dominant culture of language and jokes can leave others feeling left out or create a false sense of hierarchy. When this happens, a team cannot realize its full potential. What you need is a good mixture. For this to work everyone must be willing to step outside their comfort zone and try a bit harder to work together. ! [The School os Business FHNW has conducted several research projects with Novartis.] Brigitte Sprenger


Partner Profiles
The School of Business cooperates with 150 universities around the world. A full list is on Each issue of The Sextant profiles half a dozen of these partners.

Ajou University Where Suwon (30 km from Seoul), Korea Cooperation Student and Lecturer Exchange Size 9 Faculties, 14’000 students (9’000 undergraduate, 3’500 postgraduate, 1’500 other), 600 international students per year BusinessBachelor degree programmes in Business Administration and in e-business. Within Business Administration the majors are: Accounting, Marekting, Finance, General Management, Production Management, OB & HR. About 17 courses are taught in English in the School of Business (some at various levels) Campus Ajou has a full campus which includes cafetarias, sports facilties, banks, libraries, events, host families, buddy pogramme, dormitories Website

Hogeschool Utrecht/University of Applied Sciences Utrecht Where Utrecht (centre of The Netherlands), several campus locations Cooperation Student and Lecturer Exchange and Intensive Programmes (one-week seminars where UH students come to FHNW or vice versa) Size 12 professional/academic departments, 8’000 full-time and 400 part-time students, 200 international partnerships Business Bachelor degree programmes in International Finance and Control, International Business & Management, International Marketing Management, Entrepeneurship for Developing Areas, International Communication & Media; 2 Master programmes in Communication areas. Many courses are taught in English Campus Several (non-residential) campus Locations inside and outside the city,access to full infrastructure, extensive sport and social programme. Housing usually in student flats, private but organised via International Office Website

Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, Canada Where Kamloops, British Columbia (on the plains behind the Rockies) Cooperation Student & Lecturer Exchange/ involved in CASE (Canadian Academics Study in Europe) programme Size 9 Faculties; 6’000 Bachelor students, 4’000 other students; 50 undergraduate programmes, 20 professional diploma programmes Business Bachelor in Business Administration with a variety of Major/Minor options. All taught fully in English Campus Full campus (housing, sports, theatre, libraries, shops, food etc) Website


HongKong Polytechnic University Where Hung Hom, Kowloon Cooperation Student and lecturer exchange. Size 8 Faculties. (In 2008-09) 14,875 students including 13,360 full-time and 1,515 part-time students (1,199 postgraduate, 9,579 undergraduate and 4,097 sub-degree level). Business BA‘s in Accountancy, Financial Services, Masters in Professional Accounting, Corporate Governance, Corporate Finance, Investment Management, Wealth Management, Business Administration, PhD. Mostly taught in English. Campus The Student Affairs Office offers a wide range of services including career counselling, financial assistance for students in need, and a Foundation Programme in Physical Education to encourage participation in sports. Health services available to fulltime students include out-patient medical consultations and physical check-ups, etc., provided by the University Health Service, as well as subsidized dental care. First-line medical services provided by the University Health Service are also extended to staff members and their families. Website

IPAG École supérieur de commerce Where Two campuses in France: Paris and Nice Cooperation Student and lecturer exchange Size 1150 students, 200 international students Campus Only few steps away from the historical downtown area of Nice. Functional study environment on more than 1500 m2 with a garden, a terrace, a cafeteria, two amphitheatres, documentation centre and 60 PCs in a wifi environment . In Paris: Situated in Saint Germain des Prés, IPAG is located in the building of one of the oldest societies of science of France, the geographic society, where more than a hundred years ago, Ferdinand de Lesseps planned and designed the Panama canal. IPAG provides assistance in finding accomodation close to the school. Website

Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil Where City of Guayaquil, Ecuador Cooperation Student exchange Size 9 faculties, 12000 students Business Faculty of Business: Bachelor programmes in Business Engineering, Tourism and Hotel Industry, International Finance and Commerce, Sales Administration, Marketing, Web Design, Electronics Technology and Computation; Institute of Entrepreneurial Sciences. Master programme in Business Administration. Courses taught in Spanish. Campus Guayaquil has a full campus with library, aula magna, cafeteria, sports facilities, events. Exchange students can live with Ecuadorian host families which can also function as a buddy system. Website

The Sextant _ Nr 1. / April 2009

Nr 1. / April 2009

Spotted on the Radar
… This month about 50 students embark on the unique student on-site seminars: Focus India, Insight China and Networking New York. Accompanied by School of Business lecturers, the two-week seminars include company and industrial visits, visits to universities and organizations as well as a little tourism. … The School of Business currently has students registered in various degree programmes from 58 different countries … Seventeen students in the MSc in International Management visited Brazil with two professors at the end of last year. The study trip is part of the “Manager’s shadow project” course with the aim to obtain insight on how international managers function in the real world. Through international relations with partner University in southern Brazil: the University of Caixas do Sul, cultural events, educational company visits and carrying out structured interviews with managers of both local and international organisations, the students were able to gain knowledge of how international business is done in Brazil and abroad. … Margaret Oertig, professor in Communication in the IBM and MSc IM programme went to Malardälen Business School in November: she taught a number of sizeable classes on Intercultural Communication and meetings with faculty there have lead to the investigation of pursuing a joint programme … Bengt Nättorp from Boras University in Sweden will be a guest lecturer in Statistics and also present a software lab in April. He will be teaching classes both in Olten and Brugg … As part of the twinning programme between the cities of Basel and Shanghai four young entrepreneurs from the latter city are to visit Basel early in May. Hosting them here is Prof Dr Axel Schilling, head of the Institute for Non Profit and Public Management , and the small group are to receive input from Prof Dr Ruedi Nützi on Organisational Communication, from Prof Dr Christoph Minnig on Organisational Behaviour and Margaret Oertig on Cultural Values in the Swiss Business World. … A number of new student and lecturer exchange contracts were completed between the FHNW School of Business and partners across the world this semester. This includes co-operations with such as the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Capilano University in Canada. !
Dear Maeve I’m on my exchange semester in Finland. I have met the most gorgeous girl here and now really don’t want to leave already in January when I’m supposed to go back to Switzerland and complete my degree there. I can’t bear the thought of then not being around her for 18 months. What can I do? Greetings Northern Lights Dear Northern Lights You’re not the first student to fall in love during an exchange semester: we should conduct polls to check out how many love stories started this way and perhaps prep students before they go and warn them of the imminent danger. Here’s what other students have done: 1. Convinced the loved one to come and do an exchange semester in Switzerland 2. Applied for an extension for another semester (this may not be approved but sometimes your exchange can be organized). If you had qualified for a cantonal grant, this may be rescinded. 3. Applied to the host university to become a permanent student there and complete your degree in Finland. (This will, if approved, have a number of consequences. You will probably not qualify for any grants in Finland and will have to pay full fees.) 4. Fallen out of love again by Christmas Whatever you do, remember to inform the folk back in Switzerland. And remember to at least stay partially focused on your studies Twinkly greetings Maeve Dear Maeve I’m here in China on business: negotiating for a research project. My problem is all the banqueting. Nearly every evening they have invited me to a formal banquet (and the food is pretty amazing!) but this also means that every evening I face all this toasting business. The stuff they pour is incredibly strong : At this rate I’ll hardly be able to talk sense in business meetings much longer. Regards Gambei Dear Gambei As you know, these banquets are an important part of Chinese business culture but there are some pretty good survival techniques. Some people, to avoid the alcohol altogether, claim to be on antibiotics and therefore have a facesaving excuse to not touch the 60% liquor. Less radical is to, especially after the first toast, get the waiter or waitress to pour you other drink instead: you can ask for beer or wine. Or you can pour tea into the spirit glass and toast with that. By tradition you are permitted to ask for a drinking second who does the toasting/drinking for you. Just politely ask the head of the table to nominate a second for you then you can raise your glass at the toast but your second will have to drink it Tipsy greetings Maeve

Sign along U.S. Highway 20, just out of Idaho Falls.


Who’s Where?
Two years ago I was asked by students whether I would support a new project besides the already existing insight China and Focus India. I like the fact that students come up with new ideas and commit themselves, so Networking New York was born. I enjoy supervising student projects because I can directly support young people in project management. It has turned into one of the major student projects that perfectly match with the strategy of internationalisation of FHNW. Besides, I find networking a very
Prof. Dr. Anita Graf, lecturer in human resources management, FHNW School of Business, campus Olten

important topic regarding the students’ future. They learn about networking strategies, tools and so on. It was my first time in NY and Boston - so I got an interesting – but very selective impression of this region of the world. There were many interesting company and university visits, interesting lectures. I was particularly impressed by the support from the Swiss consulate in NY.

I have been in the tutoring team in Tampere for three years now, and last year I met three lovely students from FHNW Switzerland who studied there, we became friends and then I decided to go to Switzerland to study, it is always great to go to a place where you already know people. I would like to point out that I like the Olten campus because it is in quite a small area and you do not have to travel a lot to your classes, and the level of education is also good, the same level I am used to back home in Finland.
Antti Manninen, visiting student from Tampere University/Finland

This also suits me very much because it is the first time I study business and it is very different from studying electrical engineering. I think what I miss most is cheap school lunch, back home lunch is 2 Euro 30 cents, here it is more than double this price.

We were informed about Staff Exchange by our management. This is a unique possibility to get to know not only another school system and another institution of education, but at the same time experience another country and its people. I spent two weeks in Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and lived at a lecturer’s house in the area. I brought a lot of positive input back home. Some good comparisons between the Swiss
Stefan Philippi, scientific assistant, FHNW School of Business, Basel

and the US educational system will help me a lot in the future. The size is definitely impressive: at the time there were 60000 students enrolled at MATC. There are also several campuses. The average student age is lower than at FHNW, but there are also quite a few older students who take up further studies after years in work life. The spirit and enthusiasm to support young people was the same at both institutions.

We have a partnership with Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, and this has made it possible to go abroad for three months on a lecturer exchange, with my whole family. It has been an old plan of mine to go abroad for a few months, but this is getting more and more difficult with children growing up into school age, so this was the perfect opportunity for us. My wife could also take unpaid leave at her job and so that made it possible. I want to improve

my English, I want to know our partner university better, I want to start a few research co-operations between our institutions. I will work on a project with SME’s in Switzerland and the UK. Eventually I want to strengthen bonds between FHNW Switzerland and the UK.


Prof. Dr Rolf Meyer, professor in management, deputy head of the Institute of Management and also deputy dean of the MSc International Management at FHNW School of Business

The Sextant _ Nr 1. / April 2009

Nr 1. / April 2009

I have been working at the Institute of Management in Windisch since April 08. As a head of our health management division, I’m in charge of developing a new health management programme. One of our strategic priorities is to apply for a membership in the global WHO Collaborating Centre Network (WHO CC Network).These predominantly research institutes are designated by the WHO-Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organisation‘s programmes. Currently there are over 900 WHO collaborating centres in 99 Member States working on areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases and health technologies. We would like to join the Global Programme of Action on workers’ health 2008–2017, endorsed by the World Health Assembly. As a former civil servant of WHO Geneva I’m in a mutual cooperation with WHO headquarters. The idea is to establish a twinning programme with another WHO CC in a country of transition.

Dr. Volker Schulte , Institute of Management, Brugg, visiting Nottingham for project purposes

Together, we will elaborate practical tools for the assessment and management of occupational risks (e.g. psychosocial risks), projects which include inventory, framework document, mapping of use and types of tools, evaluation, and definition of toolkits. Further the development of a global framework and guidance on healthy workplaces. Projects include review of effectiveness of existing programmes for healthy workplaces, and development of tools for creating healthy workplaces. Our Institute‘s goal is to develop one of the leading national Centres for Health Management in Switzerland. There is also a risk potential. First, we have to face a long application period (2-3 years) and evaluation procedures respectively. Second, it implicates enduring investment. There is a potential for international acknowledgement for excellence in health management for the School of Business as a whole. To be precise, being a WHO CC is one of the best and well recognised labels within the health sector. Getting the WHO CC stamp is synonymous with a global certification of excellence in our research field.

My family are mainly teachers and professors; they also speak German at home, so I wanted to improve my German. Also my best friend did her exchange semester in Bern and I visited her last Christmas. I liked the people, the way they are, the way they speak, and so I thought this is really a place I would like to go. Everybody here is so positive and helpful. The student life is really good, the school has provided us with rooms at a staff house, which we call our five star hotel, and we have a really
Selen Egit, visiting student from Ankara University/Turkey

international delegation! At the university the lecturers are really nice, speaking perfect English, the cases we studied are really updated. All in all I really like the education here. Except, well, it may not be the most important thing, but the photocopier here is killing me. We are not used to this. In Turkey there is a guy who does this for us and we just pay, here we have to everything ourselves.

I am from Russia, St. Petersburg, I studied physics for two years at the Baltic State University and then came as a visiting student to FHNW Basel for a year, where I met my boyfriend and decided to stay with him. I studied in Mannheim for two semesters and then I came to Olten because all the studies are in English and my German would not be sufficient to follow courses. I also came because it is a high quality education with up to date material. It is a very successful organisation, because not
Maria Kaklyugina, full-time student BSc Business Administration (International Management)

only students are interested in the studies but also professors and lecturers, because they have their projects, and this is a very interesting idea because people can develop themselves and develop knowledge, everybody brings everything in, and knowledge is very important and being up to date is crucial. I have also a lot of friends here in Switzerland, but I miss my friends back home in St. Petersburg.

Anita Schrag, Alumna of BSc Business Administration (International Management)

I now work in the corporate finance department for Meyer-Burger, founded 50 years ago, located in Thun, there are 500 employees worldwide, including China and the Philippines, we produce cutting machines to slice silicon wafers for photovoltaic power generation and the computer chips industry. Next to making really good friends during my studies at FHNW the biggest highlight of my studies and of my whole life was my exchange semester at Ajou University in South Korea. I was already married at that time, and being away from home and family was a big challenge and at the same time the greatest time of my life, every day there was something new to expe-

rience, a new life, new friends, new food, new ways of communicating. The hardest part at the beginning was the dormitory, suddenly you had to share rooms with other people. Academic life was really hard at the beginning because we have a very different way of learning in Switzerland. At FHNW we learn a lot with case studies etc, in Korea, in marketing for example, you really have to learn texts by heart and then, in the exam you have to fill in gap texts with the exact word required. The biggest cultural difference was family life and their wonderful food culture. They start eating at 9 in the morning and finish at 11 pm, something really extraordinary.


Nr 1. / April 2009

A Day in the Life of
in the city of Solothurn in March and we expect about 200 delegates from several countries. To date there are 116 registrations – it’s a bit slower than last time. We not only organise the programme but all the other conference matters as well: the venue, the workshops, the publishing of all the papers that will be delivered. This is a lot of work for the team. I cycle home again. This evening we have an important match. I coach a young women’s volleyball team. We’re going to win tonight! If there’s still energy left, then I’ll be reviewing papers for a conference in Business Information Systems in Poznan, Poland, this May. Actually, I often work during the night – I don’t really need a lot of sleep. Between two and five hours is often enough. Somehow I have a lot of energy at night and it’s quiet then and I can work undisturbed and concentrate much better. It does mean I’m not one of these people who can get up very early and be really productive early in the morning. I guess that’s also another reason why I enjoy cycling to work: it wakes me up! !

Photo: Jeannette Merguin

Prof Dr Knut Hinkelmann Dean MSc Business Information Systems, Head of Competence Centre Information & Knowledge Management, School of Business, FHNW I cycle to work whenever I can. It might mean taking a bag with suit and tie – but it’s a good start to the day. The first meeting of the day was about the FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation) accreditation for the MSc BIS: it’s a federal requirement to get accreditation and we opted for an international one. Today we discussed what still needs to be done: I was rather shocked at how much work it involves – at least 50 pages of documentation on strategy, course descriptions, lecturer qualifications, gender policy, partnerships, teaching methodology. We have to be accredited by this summer. After this I started on my mails – there are about 70 per day, mostly from students with a million questions. Then Holger Wache and I had a very lively discussion about the contents of a Knowledge Engineering course we team teach. I love these discussions with colleagues, pulling together interesting fields and debating how best to teach these. We

were so busy disagreeing we didn’t even take time out for a coffee. However, we had our weekly lunchtime meeting for the Competence Centre for Knowledge Management afterwards and then I popped out to buy a sandwich and a coffee. Today Barbara Thönssen and Daniela Feldkamp reported back on a visit to London with the application partners of a project we’re in. Together with partners from several European countries we’re developing a technology for personal and organisational learning environments. These lunchtime meetings are very informal and enjoyable. The afternoon continues with answering mails, meeting with the International Office to discuss possible cooperation with an Italian university and writing an examination. I also called our Austrian MSc partner, the University of Vienna, because tomorrow I go there for two days of guest lecturing. Hopefully we can then also discuss some details regarding students who wish to do the dual degree modus. There are currently two students interested in this. Last thing on the programme was a preparatory meeting about a conference. This one, on Professional Knowledge Management, is one our competence centre organises. It’ll be held

Record Registrations for Europe Study Tour
Despite the current financial crisis especially in the USA, the 28 places available for mostly US students on the Business European Study Tour in June this year were filled in record time. There is currently a waiting list. Undergraduate students from CSU (Fullerton) and University of Mississippi and Nelson Mandela University in South Africa will take part in the 3-week tour to many high-level organisations and businesses in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland. Academic credits are awarded for participation in this joint programme with the School of Business FHNW, Nürtingen University (Germany) and ISCID (France).

Irish Marketing Expert to Brugg
Dr. Aidan Daly from National University of Galway will lecture on International Services Marketing in Brugg in April. Daly, former director of the Marketing Department and winner of the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, also has considerable industrial experience, including many years with Guinness. Students from both the Brugg and the Olten campuses will be attending the lectures.


The Sextant is published twice a year by the International Office, School of Business, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW Editorial Team: Brigitte Sprenger, Markus Andres Layout: AHA Marketing Kommunikation AG, Basel Print: Dietschi Circulation: 2000 and as pdf on Next Issue: October 2009 Contributions to and